|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Newport Central Catholic sophomore pitcher Haley Meyers delivers in a recent game. The Thoroughbreds are 11-5 on the season.|
But in 2014, just the softball team made it and lost in the quarterfinals, 2-0 to Conner. The baseball team missed out on it for the first time since 2010 losing to Bellevue in the 36th District semifinals, 4-1. This comes after consecutive region championships and elite eight finishes in 2011 and 2012.
Both teams entered the season hoping to improve on last year's records. The softball team finished 18-11 and the baseball team 11-23. At about the midway point of the season, the softball team is 11-5 overall and 3-0 in district play and the baseball team is 6-10 and 2-0. Both teams already lost in the 9th Region All "A" Tournament.
The softball team lost just two seniors in right fielder Molly Mertle and left fielder Taylor Burkart. The result is an experienced team led by five seniors. They are third baseman Loren Zimmerman, shortstop Michaela Ware, catcher/infielder Kristen Schreiber, Casey Kohls and Morgan Martini.
Sophomore Haley Meyers has become a force on the mound and at the plate. She pitched most of the time last year. But freshman Jaden Watts has given her some relief.
A number of sophomores have contributed this year. They are Alex Burkart, Kennedy Bin, Lexie Potts and Kathryn Schreiber. The lone junior listed on the roster is Olivia Gross.
The Thoroughbreds also have three freshmen on the team. They are Watts, Karolyn Schreiber and Lexy Breen. Breen has made contributions to the volleyball and basketball teams this year.
The big goal was more clutch hitting this season. It hurt NewCath in tight games last year including the two postseason losses.
NewCath's next game is at home on Wednesday against Walton-Verona. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
The baseball team graduated five seniors from last year. They are Tommy Donnelly, Mitch Pangallo, Jake Pangallo, Jake Yeager and Kole Zenni.
But a good core returns led by six seniors. They are outfielder Clint Bartels, pitcher/infielder Leo Barth, outfielder Nate Enslen, infielder Brandon Gray, pitcher/infielder Grant Moeves and infielder Zack Pangallo.
"They worked hard in the offseason and that has continued with practices and the early games," said Jeff Schulkens, veteran NewCath head baseball coach. "They have a very positive attitude."
Offensively, NewCath has worked on having more quality at-bats. Schulkens wants the Thoroughbreds to be more selective when ahead in the count. Defensively, the Thoroughbreds hope to retire the first batter each inning and not allow unearned runs.
The Thoroughbreds also have eight juniors looking to make impacts. They are pitcher/outfielder Owen Workman, outfielder/pitcher Josh Schneider, pitcher/infielder Chris Romito, catcher Griffin McHugh, pitcher/infielder Samuel Kaelin, first baseman Bryson Hightchew, catcher Ryan Hans and outfielder/pitcher John Harris.
A couple sophomores could see some action as well. They are pitcher/infielder Spencer Pangallo and pitcher/infielder Brian Wells.
NewCath plays at Highlands (12-3) on Wednesday. Game time is 5 p.m.